A search of the hashtag #secretaccount on Instagram returns over 23,000 results. Obviously, it is impossible to tell how many of these belong to kids under the age of 18, but I can tell you that the imagery to go along with these results is disturbing to say the least.
Many of these “secret accounts” do in fact belong to young people. Many of them are (ironcially?) PUBLIC (i.e., not private).
Many of them include the following hashtags:
The list goes on…I know, I know – we don’t want to or are afraid to talk about this. Are we all wandering around just hoping it’s not our kid? What if we all started paying closer attention and potentially saved a life?
An example of a bio on a secret-public-account:
– Selfharm, depression, anxiety, anorexic”
Bottom line. If you want to know what your kids are doing online you have to talk with them…and cyberstalk them. Yes, I can hear people saying “But what about their privacy?” “Don’t they deserve their precious privacy?”
The answer is yes, kids do deserve privacy. First, they must earn our trust- and even then, we must continue to have an open dialogue. Every child is different. We all think we know our kids, right? Well, let’s get to know them even better.
First and foremost kids need to understand that there is NO REAL PRIVACY online or when communicating on a phone.
Conversations need to start earlier. Parents need to seriously consider all of the safety measures available once they have decided to allow their child to become socially active.
Here is an informative slideshow via PC Magazine on Bitdefender Total Security 2013.
There are many parental control software options available today. Do some research and find out which one is best for your family.
My intention here is to open eyes, raise awareness and inspire more thoughtful communication.
Thanks for stopping by.